Friday, April 22, 2022

Lessons from Surah Kahf - Part 5


kahf, friday, tafseer

bismillah ar-rahman ar-raheem

  • A group from the Quraish wanted to test the prophet ﷺ regarding Zulqarnain, whether he is authentic or not as a Messenger, verifying his claim. They derived this question by the advice of the Jews, who recommended three questions only a prophet would know the answers to; the ruh, young men who existed long ago, and about a person who did tawaf around the globe.

  • When the group asked the prophet ﷺ about this person who had done tawaf around the globe, the prophet ﷺ said he would give his answer tomorrow, but no revelation came to the prophet for fifteen days, after which some of surah isra and some of surah kahf were revealed. 

  • In surah isra the answer for the question of the ruh was revealed: And they ask you, [O Muḥammad], about the soul. Say, "The soul is of the affair [i.e., concern] of my Lord. And you [i.e., mankind] have not been given of knowledge except a little." (17:85)

  • A part of the reason that there was a delay in the revelation was because the prophet ﷺ had not said in’sha’Allah, if Allah wills, to the people when he said he would give his answers tomorrow. This highlights the importance of saying in’sha’Allah when we talk about the future, as it is only by Allah’s will events and tasks unfold. 

  • Allah Himself is sharing the story of Zulqarnain to the entire of humanity until the day of judgment, which highlights the virtue of Zulqarnain. When one is made mention of in the Quran, it is how Allah honors him; his mention is in the Quran forever, he becomes a role model for not only the ummah, but also the prophet ﷺ himself. We study their stories, learn them, and seek closeness to Allah through them.  

  • Zulqarnain’s story is a reminder, and a reminder is not to be forgotten. This story is especially to be remembered because its events are still going to happen at the end of times. 

  • Allah gave Zulqarnain power in the entire land. His power manifested in the fact that Allah gave him the means, resources and tools to achieve anything he wanted; military, workers, scholars. 

  • He traveled to the west where the sun sets, which is essentially the Black Sea. There Allah inspired him to give dawah to the unbelievers and warn them of the punishment that would follow if the people did not give up their shirk and oppression.

  • Then Zulqarnain traveled to the east, till the point where the sun rises from—which is the Caspian Sea. There he came upon a nation that was uncivilized; they had no homes, shelters, no trees, nothing to protect them from the direct rays of the Sun. He dealt with these people the same way he had dealt with those before: advised them to come to the deen of Allah, or to face punishment for their kufr and shirk

  • The last part of his journey was to the place between two mountains, which according to the best understanding, is believed to be in the middle of Russia and Georgia. There he found a nation which spoke a language which was unique to those around them. When they spoke, Zulqarnain and his people generally couldn’t understand, and when Zulqarnain and his people spoke, the nation couldn’t understand. 

  • When this nation saw Zulqarnain’s massive army, they rushed to request something from him. “They said, ‘O Dhul-Qarnayn, indeed Gog and Magog are [great] corrupters in the land. So may we assign for you an expenditure that you might make between us and them a barrier?’” (18:94) This communication was achieved through gestures and sign language, and Allah translates to us what was said.

  • Mufseedoon, which is a noun, refers to the fact that these people, yajuj and majuj, were inherently corrupt. They were more corrupt than the corruption we see today. The greatest harm of theirs after kufr is that they killed (mass murder, genocide).

  • Zulqarnain told the nation he doesn’t want any payment, what Allah has already given him is better than any payment. The lesson to be taken here is that we don’t truly own something, it is Allah who gives it to us. 

  • So Zulqarnain only asked for manpower, with which, the strongest wall mankind has ever built, was built.  Here we see that based on Zulqarnain’s army size, he did not require any manpower, he only wished to involve the people in changing their own condition. 

  • He constructed what was far more than what the people asked for. This prompts us to reflect on how if Zulqurnain, a mere human, can be so generous to his people, how generous is the Almighty to His believers. Hence, we should not limit what we ask for, and the greatest thing we should ask for is jannah-tul-firdous.

Quran translation Sahih International

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Glimpses from the Life of Prophet ﷺ - Post 3


glimpses from the prophet's life

bismillah ar rahman ar raheem

  • The Prophet ﷺ married Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, a noble woman, who was a business woman and merchant. Her servant boy who was sent with the Prophet ﷺ to trade her own goods back and forth to Syria, informed her of the excellent characteristics of the prophet; his trustworthiness, truthfulness. This made Khadijah interested in marrying the prophet. They married when she was forty-two, while the prophet ﷺ was twenty-five, and had six children.
  • She was a great woman, and the first one to support him ﷺ in his mission. She was given the glad tidings that she would have a house in paradise made of great materials, where there is no disturbance. 

  • In his young years, at one point the prophet tended sheep, either for Bani’ Sad in Taif or for some people in Makkah. During this time while caring for the sheep he would wander in the desert, learning more about life and thinking of creation. In this way, he was protected again and again from engaging in the things of jahiliyyah of that time. This was all in preparation of his mission as a prophet later on. 

  • He ﷺ a human being, not any different from anyone else. He had the same human needs and occurrences, but he was protected by Allah. Although he received support from his family, his uncle and grandfather, he ﷺ was independent. 

  • The Prophet ﷺ would get away from the hustle and bustle of Makkah to go to the cave of Hira, an isolated area, to worship Allah; praying, remembering Him, invoking him, and pondering over the creation of Allah. 

  • He would stay there for a number of days and nights, and then would return back to Khadijah. Again he would supply himself with some food and drink for another stay at the cave. 

  • In the month of Ramadan, on a Monday, while the prophet ﷺ was in the cave, he was visited by Jibreel. Here the miraculous incident of the first revelation occured: Recite in the name of your Lord who created, Created man from a clinging substance. Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous - Who taught by the pen. Taught man that which he knew not. (96:1-5)

  • Some scholars have said that the revelation stopped for as much as six months, however Ibn Abbas said the revelation stopped for about forty days. The revelation came in a different way this time; he ﷺ was walking when a cloud came over his head, when he looked up at the sky he saw angel jibreel. He ﷺ fell on his knees in fear. This time verses of surah muddathir (74) were revealed to him. 

  • Every time the prophet ﷺ received revelation, he would be visibility affected. The mother of the believers, Aisha has reported that even on the most cold days, he ﷺ would be sweating when revelation would come down on him. It is only by the permission of Allah that the prophet was able to bear this.

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Glimpses from the Life of Prophet ﷺ - Post 2


glimpses, prophet, life

bismillah ar-rahman ar-raheem

  • There were signs, evidences and occurrences that foretold the Prophet ﷺ’s special status as the leader and guide of humanity. Some of these miracles took place before and after his mission, some during his life and some even after his passing. All of those are signs to show that Muhammad ﷺ is the seal of the prophets. There are no prophets after him, and no religion would be accepted after his coming.

  • Even the prophets before Muhammad ﷺ were mentioning his coming in their own books. 

  • First was his coming from a noble family and descent. His own family was kind, very generous, and served the pilgrims and the Kaaba.

  • The year the Prophet ﷺ was born was the same year the Event Of The Elephant took place. The Event Of The Elephant was when Abraha, the Abyssinian ruler of Yemen wanted to create another Kaaba. However as Allah subhanahu’watala is the owner of the Kaaba, Abraha faced a humiliating defeat.

“Have you not considered, [O Muḥammad], how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant? Did He not make their plan into misguidance? And He sent against them birds in flocks, striking them with stones of hard clay, And He made them like eaten straw. (105:1-5)

  • Allah preserved the Kaaba, the wealth and lives of the Makkans. This was in preparation of the prophet’s status as a leader of Makkah. 

  • As the tradition of that time, the prophet ﷺ as a baby was placed in the care of Haleema Sadia, who along with her family received many blessings because of the prophet; their camels began to be ahead of everyone else’s in the caravan, the she-camels started to give milk.

  • At the age of four while he was playing with other children, he was taken by Jibreel, placed on the ground, and had his chest open and heart cleansed. When the children witnessed this, they announced in surprise that Muhammad had died. The prophet returned to his nursing mother, but henceforth she was fearful and took him back to his family. 

  • The prophet’s mother took him to his maternal family in Madinah. When he was taken to Madinah, he was taken towards greater Syria. On that trip he met Baheera, the monk. Baheera saw the signs of the prophet’s status and feared for his safety, advising Abdul Mutalib to not take him to Syria, because the Christians or Jews might hurt him. 

  • What happened after the mission of the prophet ﷺ is the greatest miracle ever given to any prophet. Although there were great physical miracles that took place for earlier prophets, the everlasting miracle is that of the Quran, which will be with us until the day or before the day of judgment. 

  • There were physical miracles too, for example whenever the prophet ﷺ invoked Allah for rain, the rain would come down immediately. Another one of the signs which was proven in history books was when the water was coming from his ﷺ ‘s fingers, and when he used to bring even the little food and water, and yet it would be sufficient for a great number of people. 

  • Even the moon was split into two halves in Makkah for people to see and believe that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was a prophet. The people challenged him that if you are a prophet, split the moon. So the prophet ﷺ asked Allah subhanahu’watala. The evidence for this exists in surah qamar (54).

  • Additionally, there were things the prophet ﷺ would forsay that would happen, both during his life and after. For example, he said that his daughter Fatima would be the first one to pass away after him; and she did pass away six months after him.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Glimpses from the Life of Prophet ﷺ - Post 1


prophet muhammad, life, lessons

  • We need to learn about our Prophet ﷺ closely to know who he was. The more we know about him, the more we will love him.

  • He is coming from the descent of Adam alayhi salām through Prophet Ibrahim alayhi salām, down to Ismail alayhi salām to Adnan, and then to his own father, Abdullah; so he came from a noble lineage.

  • The mother of the Prophet is known to be Amina bint Wahab, so she and the Prophet ‘s father meet under Kilab ibn Murrah in ancestry. 

  • Abdullah, the Prophet ﷺ ‘s father was a favored son to Abdul Muttalib. He, like Ismail alayhi salām was saved from being sacrificed for Allah’s sake. 

  • This good marriage between Amina and Abdullah produced our beloved Prophet ﷺ the man who showed light to humanity, who came to guide people to the right path, who let us know what Allah subhanahu’watala wanted from us.

  • The second half of the shahada in Ashhadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah, wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah. (There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger) is the first pillar of Islam, so knowing what the Prophet did, how he lived, and said, is all very important. 

    • Ashhadu Anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah is to verify, to believe what he told us regarding Allah; His noble names, His attributes, the prohibitions, what awaits in the hellfire, all of what is about this world and beyond. 

“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (4:59)

  • We obey him ﷺ in what he directs us to do in all matters of life. We come back to his teachings and rulings to rule our lives with his constitution, and to submit to him ﷺ and Allah subhanhu’watala. 

  • Similarly, we are to stay away from what he ﷺ directly and indirectly told to avoid and abstain from. What he forbade most was shirk, which is associating partners with Allah.

  • We are not to worship Allah except in the way the Prophet ﷺ legislated and made clear. That is the way to save ourselves in this life and the next.